Exclusive Interview with Abhijeet Rajpurohit, Co-Founder and COO of Cloud TV

Exclusive Interview with Abhijeet Rajpurohit, Co-Founder and COO of Cloud TV

Cloud TV is a driving provider of advanced Smart TV OS, centered on building innovative arrangements to provide a brilliant involvement in cutting-edge TV gadgets. They are a group of inventive minds who cherish making imaginative solutions centered on the Content User experience on Smart TVs and computerized gadgets for the OTT and Linear TV under CloudTV with a suite comprising CloudTV, CLOUD VOICE, AIRSTREAM, CSHARE fueling close to 100 Indian Smart TV brands and working with all major OTT partners in India with a reach of more than 5 million users over India. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with Abhijeet Rajpurohit, Co-Founder and COO of Cloud TV.

Can you share CloudTV's journey as a Made-in-India brand and its growth story in the competitive Smart TV market?

CloudTV OS was developed to unlock the full potential of Smart TVs and democratize content streaming. In a market where Smart TVs predominantly focus on pre-installed social media apps to mirror the smartphone experience, we envisioned a Smart TV explicitly tailored for the Indian audience. Thus, we launched our TV brand, CloudWalker, with this vision.

Furthermore, in 2017, we embarked on developing our TV operating system to cater to the unique needs of Indian users. Our product quickly garnered popularity among end users as the only Smart TV that simplifies OTT content discovery and makes it affordable. Recognizing the distinct requirements of the Indian Smart TV market, we identified the necessity for a solution designed and produced locally.

Unlike International Operating Systems, which are heavily reliant on the Chinese market for their distribution or not optimized for Indian preferences, our Made-in-India approach addressed a significant gap. As we expanded our offerings to other Indian manufacturers, we collaborated closely with our partners and TV brands to achieve numerous milestones over the years. Today, our impact resonates across the Indian Smart TV landscape, powering approximately 6 million Smart TVs in India through 23+ manufacturers, supporting over 160 brands, and serving a user base of approximately 12 million.

How does CloudTV 3.0 enhance the smart TV experience, particularly with its new features like the enhanced user interface and voice control?

India’s diverse landscape presents both challenges and opportunities, and CloudTV 3.0 is designed to cater to this complexity. To address varying user needs, we offer multiple user interfaces for TV brands to choose from, ensuring a tailored experience.

Our Voice Assistant stands out as one of the most utilized features by end-users, streamlining content search and playback with remarkable ease and intuitiveness. We modified it to run seamlessly on even the most affordable hardware available for Indian TVs, ensuring widespread adoption. Moreover, it also supports regional languages such as Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, and Haryanvi, with plans to introduce support for additional Indian languages targeted for rollout this year.

Can you elaborate on the application ecosystem provided by CloudTV, such as the CloudTV remote app and OTT bundle apps?

The CloudTV App Store is built to democratize app distribution. We closely work with our OTT and content partners, including Prime Video, Disney+Hotstar, Jio Cinema, SonyLIV, and Zee5, to ensure our users have access to their favorite apps on their TVs. We encourage Indian developers to create TV-specific apps and welcome their contributions to our platform.

Our app store is not limited to TVs; it can also be used on other devices like IP-TV set-top boxes or smart sticks/boxes sold in India. To enhance the user experience, our phone app doubles as a TV remote control. The app allows users to navigate, search, and play content immediately and supports voice commands for easy content search.

With the surge of new OTT apps, it is increasingly vital for content partners to let users sample their content before subscribing. We are working closely with OTT partners to offer exclusive trailers for CloudTV device partners and their users, enabling them to enjoy their Smart TVs fully and subscribe to their preferred apps.

What are the key trends driving the growth of Smart TV OS and OTT services in the Indian market, and how is CloudTV positioning itself to capitalize on these trends?

The significant rise in digital content consumption has been a major growth driver for Smart TV and OTT services in recent years. Consumers are increasingly attracted to the convenience of on-demand content, which eliminates the need for DTH services or smart sticks. This trend is evident even in Tier II and III cities in India, where affordable Smart TVs are gaining popularity.

At CloudTV, we believe that everyone should have access to an excellent viewing experience, regardless of their budget. To support this vision, we have optimized CloudTV OS to work seamlessly across a wide range of chipsets, RAM capacities, and other hardware configurations. This ensures that users can enjoy their favorite content on the large screen in their homes, irrespective of their financial constraints.

What are the key challenges you are facing in the Smart TV market?

We have had the privilege of building a product for a country that continually demands more. This drives us to develop quickly and improve our offerings for our users. It has been both our greatest challenge and our biggest source of motivation.

How have consumer preferences and behaviors influenced the development of your OS?

Listening to our users is a critical part of building CloudTV OS. Features like Voice Assistant, Universal Content Search, and the Mobile Remote App are all designed to enhance the user experience. Occasionally, we have retracted or modified some features that users disliked less. We are committed to providing our users with the finest possible solution and are always open to suggestions.

 How does your OS handle app compatibility and updates?

We work closely with our application partners to ensure application compatibility and timely updates for all the new versions. Each app undergoes rigorous testing and adheres to strict guidelines and thorough compatibility. This approach empowers developers to ensure that their apps work seamlessly across different versions of CloudTV.

What are the main content partnerships you have, and how do they enhance the user experience?

We collaborate with leading OTT apps and FAST channels in India to ensure our users can access their favorite apps and channels directly on their TVs. Our partnerships include renowned platforms such as Disney+Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Jio Cinema, Zee5, and SonyLIV, among others.

Additionally, we offer a selection of FAST channels like TV Today Network (Aaj Tak & India Today), Network18, TV9 Network, Republic TV, and India TV. To optimize content discovery for our users, we closely engage with over 200 content partners, staying attuned to trending and popular content. This allows us to propose tailored recommendations that enhance the overall viewing experience.

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